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USF Women's Basketball Battle Back, Fall Short

Associated Press

Until this past weekend, the USF women's basketball team had never won a game in the NCAA Tournament, but you wouldn't have known that Monday night.

The #10 seed Bulls put on a heck of a show in Lubbock, Texas, rallying from a 10 point deficit with less than a minute left in regulation before falling 82-78 to #2 seed California (30-2) in overtime.

Down 63-49 with 7:44 left in the second half and 68-58 with 58 seconds left, USF (22-11) tied the game at 70 when Inga Orekhova (22 points) hit three free throws with .7 seconds left.

A combination of missed free throws by Cal (3-10 in the last 1:28) along with Cal fouls on Orekhova and Andrea Smith (24 points) when they were shooting three pointers -- Smith hit two of three free throws with 11 seconds left, shortly before Orekhova hit all three of her shots -- helped the Bulls come back.

Cal's shooting improved in overtime, as they went 2-4 from the field and 8-10 from the free throw line. The Bulls went 6-8 from the line in overtime, but their shooting cooled off, as they went 1-5 from the field, including 0-3 from behind the three point line.

Layshia Clarendon led Cal with 27 points. Cal will play the winner of Tuesday night's game between #3 seed Penn State and #6 seed Louisiana State.

The Bulls upset #7 seed Texas Tech 71-70 on the Lady Raiders' home court Saturday night, the first NCAA Tournament win in the program's history. The Bulls' only previous trip to the NCAA Tournament was during the 2005-2006 season, where they lost  to USC in the first round.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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